Cape Town – Mayor Dan Plato has defended his new-look mayoral committee (Mayco), denying that some were rewarded for opposing his predecessor, Patricia de Lille.
Only JP Smith and Xanthea Limberg have retained their Social Services, Safety and Security and Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, and Energy portfolios respectively.
The two, who jointly own a Hout Bay property, had levelled several allegations against De Lille, with Limberg claiming she influenced the decision to appoint former City Manager Achmat Ebrahim.
De Lille dismissed the allegations, saying they emanated from “pillow talk” between Smith and Limberg.
Smith had alleged that De Lille used the city council for her security upgrades at her house. Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson also kept his position. Newcomers included James Vos (Assets and Facilities), Sharon Cottle (Corporate Services), Marian Nieuwoudt (Finance) and Felicity Purchase (Transport and Urban Development Authority).
Phindile Maxiti was appointed Area East representative, while Zahid Badroodien was named Area South representative. Malusi Booi will represent Area Central, while Grant Twigg will be in charge of Area North.
Booi led the charge in tabling a failed motion of no confidence in De Lille in February.
While a Cope Youth Leader, Booi’s company C-yoyo Logistics was named in a forensic audit report by KPMG in 2010.
The firm had been appointed to investigate irregular expenditure against Cope after the party allegedly spent more than R5million in public funds to pay for its party debts.
C-yoyo Logistics had allegedly received a contract worth R580 000 to brand the party’s parliamentary offices without this having been advertised.
Plato said the inference that members were selected out of any type of reward for opposing his predecessor was disingenuous and a disservice to the selected Mayco.
“This member (Booi) was selected because of his ability to do the work and we have done extensive vetting and consultation with the speaker of council before electing this Mayco.
"On the matter of allegations, they remain only that unless an individual is found guilty by a court of law or an ethics committee,” said Plato.
He said that his administration would investigate and take action against any member.
ANC councillor Luvuyo Zondani said he was selected by his party caucus to oppose Booi, who had sponsored the motion of no confidence in De Lille.
“The issue we put before council was that this member (Booi), needs to sort out his tainted name by being linked to fraudulent activities while he was still Cope youth secretary.
"This had caused the DA caucus to pause and ultimately saved De Lille. We as the ANC are opposed to having a leader with a dark cloud hanging over him,” he said.
Zondani said the ANC still planned to have Neilson investigated and the outstanding matter of the Bowman Gilfillan report addressed.
Booi said: “The issue regarding the (KPMG) report, which has been public since 2010, will show several contracts were being looked at and I was not investigated or charged with anything. That was purely the factional battle between Lekota and Shilowa for the leadership of the party.”
He said any inference that his appointment was a type of reward for his role during the turbulent months to oust De Lille was a malicious attempt to discredit his appointment.